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Israeli military rescues two hostages in overnight operation

Hostage Luis Har, left, hugs his family after being rescued. Associated Press/Israeli Army

Israeli military rescues two hostages in overnight operation

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday said troops stormed a heavily guarded home in the southern Gaza city of Rafah to rescue the two men, who have dual citizenship in Israel and Argentina. Hamas terrorists kidnapped Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, on Oct. 7 from western Israel. The men underwent medical evaluations in Israel and were reunited with their families, said IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari. Israeli officials estimate that more than 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza.

Was anyone killed during the mission? Israeli airstrikes launched during the rescue killed at least 67 Palestinian people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking shelter in Rafah after fleeing other parts of the region.

What else is happening in the war? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday told ABC News that Israel plans to target Hamas positions in Rafah. He said the operation will include a plan to evacuate civilians from the city. Some international leaders criticized the plan. For instance, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell Fontelles wrote on social media that an offensive in Rafah would heighten tensions with Egypt. Saudi Arabia on Saturday published a statement warning of “serious repercussions” if Israel moves forward with the operation. 

Dig deeper: Read Elizabeth Russell’s report in WORLD Magazine about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and why it’s been accused of ties to terrorism.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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